WHILE a strategic review of the US policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan in the context of the war on terror is in progress there are indications that President Obama would not meet one of Islamabad's major concerns. TV channels have reported that both he and his special envoy Holbrooke continue to hold the view that to fight out the militants hiding in the 'safe havens' of the tribal belt there is no other viable option than to keep using the drones. One would no doubt appreciate Mr Obama's determination, as expressed by him before Congress on Tuesday, that he would not allow these 'safe havens' located half a world away to plot against the American people. But not to take into account the adverse repercussions, which the attacks on Pakistan's territory entail, militates against the very objective for which they are launched. The civilian casualties these drone attacks cause spread the feeling of hatred of the US and make it easier for Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives to persuade the vengeful tribesmen to join their band of insurgents. Besides, these attacks hurt the Pakistanis' sense of sovereignty, making it harder for the government to justify its cooperation with the US. It is hoped, however, that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is in Washington these days to give Pakistan's input in the strategic review would be able to convince the Obama administration to give up its reliance on the raiding Predators. A more suitable course for the US, which fits in with its assessment that the Pakistan government is now committed to root out militancy, would be to work through sharing intelligence with it and let it devise a strategy to get rid of the hideouts without creating a serious backlash from the local population. If the news about army's refusal to take up the offer of a unilateral truce by the Taliban in Bajaur is correctly reported, Pakistan also needs to review its stand on military operations in the tribal areas. The tribesmen, who appear to have become amenable to peaceful means, should be treated differently from those who insist on the armed struggle. The association they had with the militants in the past should not come in the way. Most probably, the army's refusal is based on the feeling that since the operation has been successful in getting control of certain heights dominating the Taliban's hideouts, they have no choice but to sue for peace. Even if that were true, the opportunity of reconciliation should not be thrown away. They are Pakistani citizens, misguided though at present, and their cooperation is essential to secure durable peace in the troubled region.